As the girls’ season nears the midway point, and the boys’ season has finished its first two weeks, we are starting to see more and more teams finally take the floor, therefore there were many more candidates to choose from as six players have been awarded with Week-5 IBCA/Franciscan Health Player of the Week honors.
South Bend Saint Joseph Senior J.R. Konieczny, Plainfield Senior Ian Scott, Evansville Bosse Junior Julian Norris, Fort Wayne South Side Junior Olivia Smith, Union City Junior Skylie Lutz, and Shelbyville Sophomore Kylee Edwards have been selected as honorees for Nov. 30-Dec. 5 in the recognition program coordinated by the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association.Konieczny is the boys’ honoree, and Smith is the girls’ honoree in District-1. Scott and Lutz have been selected as the boys’ and girls’ winners, respectively, in District-2. Norris is the boys’ recipient, and Edwards is the girls’ recipient in District-3.
South Bend Saint Joseph’s J.R. Konieczny has put together quite the career already, so his explosive outputs last week aren’t necessarily unexpected. In a Friday matchup at South Bend’s John Adams High School, the 6-7 wing scored 30 of his team’s 54 points, but it wasn’t quite enough, as the Eagles knocked off the Indians, 65-54. Returning to the court the very next day, the Senior wing helped secure a win at Marquette Catholic by pouring in 41 points in a 91-82 victory, helping the Indians split their pair of weekend contests. The 6-7 Konieczny has committed to play next season nearby at the University of Notre Dame.
Fort Wayne South Side Junior Olivia Smith is your District-1 girls’ winner for Week-5, and the dynamic playmaker was very good in a pair of wins for the Archers. Friday, South Side took on a young, but vastly improved Fort Wayne Snider squad, picking up a tough 65-61 conference win. The 5-4 point guard scored 19 points, grabbed six rebounds, handed out seven assists, and forced two steals to help the Archers remain undefeated in Summit Conference play. Saturday, South Side again played at home, this time hosting a tall and talented South Bend Washington team. In what proved to be a bit slower game, the Archers once again came out on top, this time by a 50-41 final score, moving their record to 4-0 on the year. Smith was again the key catalyst for South Side, scoring a team-high 26 points, grabbing three rebounds, and handing out a pair of assists.
District-2 saw 40-point efforts from both the boys’ and girls’ winner. Plainfield Senior Ian Scott started his week Friday in a conference matchup at Whiteland. The forward scored 17 points, grabbed eight rebounds, handed out four assists, collected four steals, and blocked a shot in the close 51-43 Mid-State Conference win. Scott was 8-13 from the field and knocked down a free throw in the effort.
Saturday, at the ‘Sneakers for Santa Shootout’ at Brownsburg High School, the 6-7 Scott was all over the place against Indianapolis North Central, pouring in 43 points and grabbing 16 rebounds in a big 66-56 win over the Panthers. The Quakers’ forward was a stellar 19-26 from the field, finishing at the rim on several occasions, plus he made five free throws on the day.
Union City’s Skylie Lutz was outstanding last week, starting with her performance Wednesday night in an 81-44 win at Monroe Central. The Junior wing was sizzling from the field, knocking down 13 of her 16 field goal attempts, 4 of 5 shots from deep, and both free throws, on her way to 32 points. She added eight rebounds and three assists in the victory.
Saturday at Knightstown, in a Tri-Eastern Conference matchup, the 5-6 Lutz helped the Indians to the decisive conference win. The Junior poured in 41 points on 17-27 shooting, 2-4 from 3-point range, and a perfect 5-5 from the charity stripe. She also grabbed four rebounds, handed out three assists, and collected four steals, helping Union City to their fourth win of the year.
Evansville Bosse Junior Julian Norris had a very consistent week in a pair of nice Bulldog wins. Friday saw Bosse host Boonville, where the 6-3 guard posted his first double-double, scoring 23 points and hauling in 10 rebounds. Norris shot 8-13 from the field, a solid 5-9 from 3-point range, and he buried a pair of free throws playing limited minutes in an easy 76-44 win. He added three assists and three steals to his output.
Saturday, the Bulldogs hosted Bishop Chatard, and in a closely contested 72-63 victory, the Junior guard again came up big with another double-double of 26 points and 12 rebounds. This time Norris knocked down nine shots from the field, five more 3-pointers, and made three of his free throw attempts. He also contributed four assists and a steal in the win.
In just her second varsity season, Shelbyville Sophomore Kylee Edwards is providing a lot of hope and excitement for the Golden Bear faithful. Friday night, in a hard-fought 61-49 win against Franklin County, the Sophomore guard scored a career-high 35 points on a blistering 16-21 from the field. The youngster also grabbed five rebounds and collected five thefts in victory.
Saturday afternoon, the Golden Bears were back in action, this time hosting Batesville. Playing limited minutes in the second half of a 56-39 win, the 5-7 Edwards still managed 24 points, three rebounds, and an impressive eight steals. Through six games, the Sophomore guard is averaging 23.0 points per game, plus she has scored no less than 18 points in any one contest.
This is the 13th season for the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association Player of the Week program, but the first season it is presented by Franciscan Health, a corporate sponsor of the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association.
Player of the Week winners are chosen each week from each of the IHSAA’s three districts. Girls winners will be chosen through the Monday following the IHSAA Girls State Finals. Boys winners will be chosen through the Monday following the IHSAA Boys State Finals.
Other Top Nominees for Week-5 (2020-21)
District-1 Boys:Caedmon Bontrager, Lakewood Park Christian; Zane Burke, Fort Wayne Blackhawk Christian; Matt Gonzales, Highland; Luke Goode, Homestead; Jamie Hodges Jr., Michigan City; Reece Marrs, Hebron; Luke McBride, Norwell; Brett Sickafoose; Blake Wesley, South Bend Riley; Cole Wireman, Kouts.
District-1 Girls:Allison Capouch, Kouts; Ellia Foster, Bremen; Nevaeh Foster, Mishawaka Marian; Lilliann Frasure, North Judson-San Pierre; Kendal Johnson, Lewis Cass; Annaka Nelson, Fort Wayne Concordia Lutheran; Morgan Ostrowski, Garrett; Mila Reynolds, South Bend Washington; Jessie Ringen, Rensselaer Central; Sidney Wagner, Tippecanoe Valley.
District-2 Boys:Landon Biegel, Oak Hill; Joseph Bobilya, Guerin Catholic; Grant Brown, Madison-Grant; Luke Brown, Blackford; Tai McClung, Mississinewa; Gabriel McQuay, Arsenal Technical; Luke Meek, Rossville; Isaiah Stafford, Crispus Attucks; Kyle Thomas, Cloverdale; Brian Waddell, Carmel.
District-2 Girls:Carley Culberson, Yorktown; Chloe Custis, South Putnam; Bridget Dunn, Carmel; Alli Harness, Carroll (Flora); Erikka Hill, Shenandoah; Ally Madden, Blue River Valley; Teresa Maggio, McCutcheon; Kennedy Martin, West Lafayette; Ashlynn Shade, Noblesville; Halle Shelt, Park Tudor.
District-3 Boys:Jack Benter, Brownstown Central; Tyler Bowlby, Waldron; Curt Hopf, Barr-Reeve; Kooper Jacobi, Silver Creek; Treyton Owens, Scottsburg; Bryan Rippy, Eastern Greene; Logan Rohrbacher, East Central; Cody Samples, South Ripley; Blake Sisley, Heritage Hills; Ryan Taylor, Evansville Mater Dei.
District-3 Girls:Bella Dittemore, Eminence; Jessie Duvall, Switzerland County; Lauren Foster, Indian Creek; Rebekah Gordon, Heritage Hills; Brooke Jackson, Mount Vernon (Posey); Graycie Poe, North Knox; Zoe Stewart, Terre Haute North Vigo; Bailey Tabeling, Trinity Lutheran; Linzie Wernert, Lanesville; Annabelle Williams, Jac-Cen-Del.